Recent changes by major law firms in their starting salaries for first-year associates have caused many firms to evaluate their compensation programs.

Ballard Spahr’s Tobey Daluz, who manages the firm’s attorney career advancement, reported the firm currently pays its first-year associates in Philadelphia $135,000. The firm has had a review process in place that was heightened this year with the engagement of a consultant that works with associates in focus groups to gather input on compensation, evaluations, and professional development.

"We are interested to see how the market reacts," Daluz said of Dechert's salary increases announced April 6. "We were already in the process, so I think it would be premature of us to react solely to the announcement of Dechert," Daluz said.

Ms. Daluz indicated that with input from their internal review and monitoring changes by other firms, Ballard Spahr anticipates having data to share with associates by the end of summer.

"I suspect that over the next several weeks or months, all of the firms will announce changes, but they will be at different points on the scale."

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Tobey M. Daluz